The In Action series. Teachers putting ed-research into practice.

The WalkThrus team – of me, Oliver Caviglioli and John Catt Ltd – is very excited to see our In Action publication series taking off.

After the Rosenshine’s Principles In Action proved popular, we felt that more researchers and their work could be given similar treatment to help teachers digest the ideas and apply them to their practice. We assembled a team of teacher-writers who have all engaged with the project with great enthusiasm.

The brief was simple: Explain the key ideas; describe how they apply in action in real classrooms across subjects and sectors; keep it short!

Although I am proud to be the editor of the series, my main input has been to assemble the team and provide some encouragement. All the ideas, the writing, the thinking.. that’s down to the authors. They’re doing an incredible job. In every case so far, the original researchers featured in the book have provided a degree of editorial support or broader encouragement to the authors – which is wonderful. I’m confident that we’ve done their work justice in these publications, making it easier for teachers to engage with the concepts and to apply them to their practice.

Instead of taking editors’ royalties for the series, we are donating 5% of all revenue from the sales to ResearchEd. This is in recognition of the work that the non-profit organisation does to bring researchers and teachers together. We are keen to support the organisation to continue into the future, doing the great work that it does.

This post will be updated as we publish each book. Here you will find links to the John Catt Bookshop to make a purchase, alongside a video interview where I talk to the authors about the ideas and the writing process.

You can also find an In Action booklist here:

John Catt Bookshop:


Fiorella and Mayer’s Generative Learning In Action by Zoe and Mark Enser

Zoe and Mark are both great writers about teaching, with extensive experience as teachers and of working with other teachers. Their blog and book output is amazing and we were thrilled to include them in the In Action team. Logan Fiorella has written the foreword to this excellent book

Zoe and Mark Enser.

Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory In Action by Oliver Lovell

An In Action book about Cognitive Load Theory was top of the list for the series and Ollie Lovell was the immediate go-to person to ask. He has interviewed John Sweller and written about his work before and made sure John was closely involved with each stage. The result is superb. The ABCDE of CLT…. here it is:

Collins et al’s Cognitive Apprenticeship In Action Edited by John Tomsett

The idea for this book is what really kicked off the whole concept of a series as John Tomsett felt that an ‘In Action’ book based on Collins et al’s research would be a great follow-up to the Rosenshine book. There are 23 sections exploring the four domains of Cognitive Apprenticeship through different subjects, each written by a different member of staff at John’s school Huntington in York.

Shimamura’s MARGE Model of Learning In Action by Nimish Lad

This book is a wonderful addition to the series about one of my favourite papers as I featured in this blog post.: Introducing MARGE: A superb ebook about learning by Arthur Shimamura. Nimish Lad has done a great job of exploring each of the ideas, bringing them to life in a range of contexts and making sense of some very powerful ideas about learning. Art Shimamura was very excited about this project and was in regular communication with Nimish before his sad passing in October 2020. We were thrilled that Dan Willingham agreed to write a foreword for the book especially since he was the person who orginally brought MARGE to our attention via twitter.

Order your copy here:

Wiliam and Leahy’s Formative Assessment Strategies In Action by Kate Jones.

Kate Jones, well known for her work on retrieval practice, has produced a superb account of the ideas originally set out by Dylan Wiliam and Siobhan Leahy. Each of the five formative assessment strategies is explored in a chapter with a wide range of examples and case studies. With some editorial input from Dylan himself, the book provides a very clear rationale for each strategy and the techniques that teachers can then use to deliver them.

The foreword is written by John Hattie – a lovely introduction to the book and the whole process of research engagement.

Order your copy here:

Ron Berger’s An Ethic of Excellence In Action by Sonia Thompson.

Sonia Thompson leapt at the chance to write this book as it chimes to closely with the philosophy she embraces at her school, St Matthews in Birmingham. Using her own school as a example of An Ethic of Excellence in Action, referencing several case studies written by Tracey Adams and others, the book shows how to create the culture and implement the numerous practical strategies that Berger promotes in his classic book. There’s a wonderful appendix with photographs of student work and each of the core ‘toolboxes’ is supported with links to various research studies and examples. A brilliant addition to the series.

The foreword is written by the man himself – Ron Berger. It’s a gem – and so wonderful to know Ron is so fully behind this wonderful account of his ideas.

Order your copy here:

We interviewed Sonia and Tracey for our Mind the Gap podcast.

Coming Soon In Summer 2022

Dunlosky’s Strengthening the Student Toolbox In Action by Amarbeer Singh Gill

Murphy-Paul’s The Extended Mind In Action by Oliver Caviglioli, David Goodwin and Emma Turner


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